E05 part 1: Interview with Benjamin Frith

Benjamin Frith is a British classical pianist with strong links to the Leeds International Piano Competition- having been a competitor at ‘The Leeds’ twice, and a student with Dame Fanny Waterman since an early age. He won several big awards early in his career, and his recordings are highly regarded- five of his discs are represented in the Gramophone Best CD Guide and his disc of Schumann’s Davidsbundlertänze was chosen as the top recommendation on the Radio 3 “Building a Library” programme.
Ben also happens to have been my piano teacher when I was doing my music degree, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be inspired and guided by such an incredible musician. In these two podcasts, we talk about the Leeds Piano Competition, his teacher Dame Fanny Waterman and generally chat and catch up!

Show Notes

  • Ben’s history with the Leeds International Piano Competition and experiences with Dame Fanny Waterman as a teacher [2:30]
  • Ben’s successes with the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Israel [10:30]
  • The start of Ben’s recording career [16:00],
    Recording with the BBC,
    Live and studio recording,
    Solo career and chamber music with the Gould Piano Trio
  • Chopin- Ben’s first love [25:00],
    Time taken to learn new repertoire,
    Humour in Beethoven
  • Ben’s experience as a competitor at the Leeds Piano Competition [32:50],
    The need to be unique as an artist,
    Core repertoire and less well-known repertoire
  • Dame Fanny Waterman as a teacher [42:50]


Information about Ben: http://www.mbam.co.uk/pianists/benjamin-frith.html

Information about Dame Fanny Waterman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Waterman

A review of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition with some information about its history: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/reviews/leeds-international-piano-competition-review-town-hall-winners-a8539946.html

Videos of all performances from the first round onwards of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition: https://leedspiano2018.medici.tv/

The website for Champs Hill Records as discussed in the podcast: https://www.champshillrecords.co.uk/

Recordings Played:

Intro: Schumann- Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 No. 7 Traumeswirren- https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.550493

[22:20] Field- Nocturne No. 7 in C Major, H. 45A- https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.550761

[23:40] Field- Piano Concerto No. 6 in C Major, H. 49A- https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.554221

[41:55] Weber- Piano Concertos No. 2, III. Rondo- https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.550959

[42:40] Hummel- Piano Trio No. 6 in Eb Major, II. Un poco larghetto- http://www.gouldpianotrio.com/albums/hummel-piano-trios-vol-1-nos-2-3-6-and-7/

[51:20] Schumann- Davidsbundlertanze, Op. 6 VIII. Frisch- https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.550493

Other Recordings Discussed:

Fou Ts’ong- Chopin Mazurkas: https://open.spotify.com/album/5U0shyOsb2qRcCLAv9wJFJ?si=YkNtrhB3Tmuugty3bXgwBQ

Sergio Fiorentino- Chopin Preludes: https://open.spotify.com/album/1LxVSnVrqk2gTdIhxGOFmH?si=Tu9k_dOBRQGGTrDTa3lMwg

Sergio Fiorentino- Chopin Walzes: https://open.spotify.com/album/0JQWRmFkP6V7a5U34q2CjF?si=AtP7nf9uQFKyLbZEO-Lh6Q

Benjamin Frith- Beethoven- Diabelli Variations (I’ve mislaid my copy so couldn’t put any clips in I’m afraid!): https://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-12514/

Alfred Cortot- Chopin- Etudes: https://open.spotify.com/album/0BPBVqsSju6mKjofZTojzB?si=pztNLJfKQe2JfCmcYr787g

Mitsuko Uchida- Chopin- Etude Op.10 No.2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCmUEqN-wTw


By |2019-03-22T01:10:47+00:00November 22nd, 2018|Interviews|1 Comment

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